I have been laying down posts on all kinds of subject matter that comes to my mind and resisting lying this one down, but I felt I really have to since this is an article about combat knives in all its forms. I have been writing a lot lately about tactical knives as I love to survival trip and consider myself a knife enthusiast and I have also been doing posts on sharpening and other areas of knives.
Well, this week was an interesting week at work as generally they are. I meet people from all over the world with different likes and dislikes in knives and differences in tastes as to the fighting knife they carry and of course I meet tons of people both men and women who “train” in one form of blade work or another as bladed martial arts have become quite popular in the last decade or so. This is something that I understand as I got involved in Pilipino Kali Escrima some fifteen years ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was not really into it; it just grew on me because of a friend I have who was into it. So, I got some training from a man named Jimmy Tacosa who was a popular trainer at the time and he travelled around the country teaching seminars and private lessons.
He was one of the first doing the seminar thing and now today it is all the rage! His form was Serrada which uses a smaller stick than a lot of the Pilipino styles out there. We used escrima’s that were 18 inches long, versus other styles that used 21, 26 and longer escrimas. I felt suited to it as I am considered short and therefore using a shorter stick was fine with me as other training I had in boxing taught me how to close the gap and get close to my opponent or assailant. This is the most deadly part of any martial art is closing the gap. When it comes to using a tactical combat knife the most important part is getting close as well. Lots of people like to fight at a medium distance and this is what separates the men from the boys especially when it comes to using a tactical knife. You can’t take someone out with a blade at four or more feet apart. You have to be close.
Anyway, that is just a little of my background with combat knives and the training only suited the fact that I have been in this business for a long time. So, when you are lucky enough to train with quality people and learn quality technique you hopefully learn the truth of the martial art of whatever defensive style you are learning. Many forms of martial art taught today are taught in a tournament format and when it comes to learning how to apply the techniques you are learning it is done in a sparring environment. This is fine, but it is not real world training. There are people out there that do teach real world, but they are hard to find. Many people out there teaching people how to use a fighting knife are only teaching people how to get killed. It’s hard to find a really good trainer to teach someone the real inn’s and out’s of the tactical knife. Of course over time hopefully you will learn them. This is what brings me to this rant. Let me tell you a little story.
Last Saturday a guy contacted me through my blog that I manage and he was looking for a tactical knife with a fully serrated blade. Naturally, I suggested the Spyderco Endura 4. I told the man why I suggested this tactical folding knife. Besides the fact that the folding knife is flat and comfortable to carry, it has a no slip polycarbonate grips and jumping at the back of the blade with the new Boye dent in it. It gives one of the best grips in the business and that fact of the matter is that this tactical knife and Spydercos in particular is the only brand that offers a quality steel, VG10 in a fully serrated blade at an excellent price.
So, the man told me that he would take it. Great! This was a man over 60yrs old and so I thought to myself to ask why he wanted the fully serrated blade. I know that when the PBR (pro bowl rodeo) comes to town I sell lots of Endura’s to the cowboys and they use the fully serrated folding blade to help get out of roping accidents. I have seen guys’ loose fingers in roping accidents.
So, I asked the man why he wanted a fully serrated folding knife? He told me that “We were watching a training video the other day that had two guys in leather jackets and they were involved in a knife fight. One man had a fully serrated combat knife and the other man had a plain edged combat knife. The man with the serrated edged fighting knife won the fight.” I thought to myself for a minute, do I really want to get into this cause I already knew this guy no matter how old he is or what his experience level is/was did not know what he was talking about. Well, if you ask my boss or the other people I work with they will tell you that if you don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to choose the combat knives and self defense knives that I am going to jump your shit. Needless to say I jumped this guys shit.
I asked the man “What do you mean the guy with the serrated blade won the fight?” The man told me “The guy with the serrated blade was able to cut through the other guy’s leather jacket easier and cut him than the guy with the plain edged blade cutting the jacket of the guy with the serrated blade.” I was getting ill already. I asked the man “was that the extent of the video?” “As far as I could tell it was.” He told me.
I asked if he really believed that crap? “The guy with the serrated knife out cut the guy with the plain edged knife.” I finally asked the man “Do you think there was anything else that the guy with the plain edged knife could have done to even up the odds? He had no reply. I left him alone about it.
The reason I am telling you guys about this story and this “video” this man was watching for training purposes is this: No matter what they were trying to show in the video it was not complete. Yes! A man with a serrated tactical knife will cut through a leather jacket easier and more viciously than a man with a plain edged combat knife. That is true. Here are the facts though. In a knife fight people do not die from getting cut. As a matter of fact in many cases those who get cut will keep on fighting. Yes, a person will expire from getting cut but it will take time. Depending on where and how they are cut they will expire in a matter of seconds, 30 upwards of 90 seconds. Those precious seconds are an eternity with it comes to a situation where you have to defend or protect yourself whether with a knife or other kind of weapon, but for the sake of the conversion will “stick” to knives.
Another fact is that as stated, people who get cut will many times keep on fighting and in many cases get more vicious and wild when cut and in turn some will not. The fact is that people do not die from getting cut. They die from getting stabbed. Period! The video was very limited in its scope of the self defense situation and for the life of me I can’t figure out who would be making men watch that crap. It is so limited that it gives the viewer a limited view of using a combat knife in self defense.
Leather jackets are very hard to cut, so you use the fighting knife another way. You stab! You want to stop someone. Here is a good knife fight stopper. Stick your blade in your assailant’s mouth, which will stop the fight. No matter how much leather or whatever your assailant is wearing the one part of the body that is really hard to protect is the neck line. What about sticking the tactical knife in the leg, that will put a guy down and can be an effective fight stopper. A stab to the pelvis……..a fight stopper! Knife up under the jaw……..a fight stopper! A stab in the side of the face…….A fight stopper!
Anyway, the only reason I am talking about this is because so many times people learn things about the fighting knife and how to use one that is not totally complete and will make a person more of a danger to themselves as the ideas expressed in some of these “training videos” can give the viewer the wrong idea and incomplete information which in turn leads to incomplete training.
All I am saying is that if you are into learning how to use the combat knife in a self defense capacity or a combative capacity, please take the time to seek out qualified people to teach you in the long term and in my opinion stay away from weekend seminars unless you already have years of quality training and know what you are looking for and at in the training. Stay away from videos unless they are highly recommend and used by military and law enforcement and have a partner that you can trust to work out with you in the long term to learn the techniques. Just be aware of the crap out there and do your due diligence to truly find quality training with no B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T! Be safe and thanks for stopping by!